Report from court shows steady decreases in citations issued in Silver Lake

Photo by Jason Morrison via stock.xchng

A report from Silver Lake municipal court staff that attempts to offer some explanation for decreasing penalties and fines revenue shows a steady decline in the number of citations heard in the village’s municipal court.

In 2008, there were 1,490 municipal court citations of all types, resulting in $86,294 in village revenue. In 2011, that had slipped to 1,009 citations and $58,769.

The report, dated Jan. 5, was generated by Municipal Court Clerk Diane Maki in the aftermath of Trustee Barbara Ironside reporting Wednesday to the Village Board on a $20,000 decrease in fine revenue in 2011 from 2010. Ironside said she would look into the reasons for the decline and report back to the board.

Maki distributed her report to Ironside, who chairs the Village Board Police & Judicial Committee, Municipal Judge David Engstrom and Village President Jeff Albrecht. The report was released to after an open records request was approved by Engstrom.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Albrecht asked for Ironside to look into the shortfall because he said he understood citations were up, but the report clearly shows otherwise.

By far the largest year-to-year decrease in citations came from 201o to 2011 — 324 less.

Also, though the number of citations decreased by 57 between 2008 and 2009, village fine revenue ticked up about $3,000.

Also decreased are OWI citations. In 2008, 19 first offense drunk drivers were arrested. In 2011, five first offense drunk drivers were arrested. From 2008 to 2011, OWI surcharges collected by the village decreased about $6,700.

The report points out that not just traffic citations are down. Water patrol citations in 2011 (103) were half of what they were in 2008 (208).

From Silver Lake Municipal Court records



  1. Government says:

    That proves people are staying out of the Village and business will never be able to to prosper. The poor people of Silver Lake, please wake up and get rid of the police they are hindering your prosperity.

  2. Lifer says:

    God forbid people are obeying the law huh? Or maybe the judge in Silver Lake is seeing the injustices in what the police department is trying to get away with….its no secret that SLPD are a bunch of bullies……I mean it should be a good thing that tickets are down…

  3. good news? says:

    I am VERY happy that OWI’s are down.
    I have NO tolerence for driving under the influnce.
    But, I think that the drunks have also learned to stay away from Silver Lake.

  4. Avoiding Silver Lake-the original says:

    The affect hurts the ‘savings program” ie the fund balance, that VoSL projected.
    The reduced fund balance may keep them under the fund balance percentage (rating) that they might need for obtaining any loans, sponsoring any TIF districts, investing in their own infrastructure or approving any special assessements for their tru-blue residents.

    Ths is exactly why Trustees should not overstate revenues in a line item on the budget (in this case SLPD REVENUES) area that can so easily fail in the execution. It would be much better to project NO revenues or a percentage less than previous year’s actual than to overstate them.

    This overstatement is even less of a responsible action by the trustees if the Judge acts independently (like he/she should) and without regard (like he/she should) to what the Trustees have projected as income from his/her decisions! Ditto with the village attorney

    Yes, am also glad that dui is down. I wonder how many tickets have been issued to the bartenders/owners who over serve?

  5. Avoiding Silver Lake-the original says:

    The next question should be th enumber of man hours corresponding to those citations. Increase or decrease of revenues is as important as the overhead to achieve them.

  6. Question says:

    I would like to know why the old board projected a $20,000 gain in revenue to $100,000, when the trend did not support such a thing. So now the new board will yet again have to fix what mess was left behind and have to figure out where to find the shortage in the budget and the shortage in the actual revenue. Glad those folks are out!!!

  7. Andy J says:

    In my personal opinion, I feel that with fewer taverns, we’ve got half as many drunks getting busted on the roads. I bet a lot of the revenue decrease in fines and forfeitures can be directly attributed to that. If you’re willing to trade increased OWI’s for decreased safety, I’m willing to trade you in for a new resident of the village. Move out of town, fool.

    I for one am happy that we have the Silver Lake Police Department, and will do everything I can as a citizen to ensure that they stay around. I support the department 110%, and I see these numbers as a GOOD thing. Decreased crime rates mean increased level of safety. As a father of 3 children, I’m glad that the Illinois DB’s are finally obeying the posted speed limits. The sign says 25mph, not 40mph. If you don’t want to get “bullied” try doing the frickin speed limit. Two Words: *Cruise Control* .. Learn it. Live it. Love it. It will keep you safer in the long run anyways. If your Illinois buddies don’t want to come to town to get lit up un your garage because of the SLPD, good riddance. We don’t need increased OWI’s.

    As far as business is concerned, Silver Lake is a seasonal town that has full time residents. Not too many businesses will thrive in the off season, if the full time residents take their money to big box stores. How many of you do your shopping in Antioch? If people would stop supporting the bix box stores and start supporting local business, maybe things can change. I will gladly pay a slightly higher price for something if it keeps my money local and helps keep people employed. I do a lot of ad-hoc shopping at local spots. I buy my fuel in town. I do what 99% of you won’t do, and that is buy local.

    In the same tone of Silver Lake being a seasonal town, since the economy started to tank how many people are trying to sell off their vacation homes as opposed to spending time at them? How many people have sold off their watertoys, and simply aren’t using them? How many people are turning to public/free options for summer fun, versus paying for a boat slip? How many people took one too many home equity loans, and their $400k mortgage doesn’t match up with their $200k property valuation? Take all of these into account before making some bass ackwards correlation that because SLPD writes tickets to people speeding, we are losing business.

  8. Avoiding Silver Lake-the original says:

    I dont quite agree that SL is a seasonal town. It is no different than any around here except they have a 25 mile an hour limit while others have a 35 and three officers ready to pounce!
    Yes they have launches – so do the other lakes. Yes, they have a community park – so do others. They do have a rather nice Italian joint, a nice breakfast place that lacks the parking needed to prosper and they have some neighborhood car repair service companies run by locals. These are not seasonal places. The one single seasonal business that you have is The Boat Doc and they prevail. The demise of Silver Lake as a seasonal place, came with the closing off of the shoreline at their ‘downtown’ area with the building of the condos. They created a brick wall that reduces the view of the lake and a parkland that could be walked to by those living close by. They allowd building of business/residentials outside of the down town that is dead and promoted their own urban sprawl.

    The village reduced-obliterated the parking space for those using the beach and Scullys. They let in a high traffic business where there was already limited parking that would not prevail under County Planning and Zoning at their center. They lost their St Vinnies. They lost their grocery, their hardware store and their in-town family owned gas stations and the village died. Even with the library in any one of the two locations on Main Street was there no success.; with the Sharing Center, there was no success. It isnt going to be a ghost town. It ‘is’ a ghost town. It should not be a village. Would it qualfy as a village today by the state standards? I dont think it would. Wilmot would have a better chance at success. They continue to tax their people to suppoort a police force that could be handled by the sheriff. Silver Lake isnt a village in the strict sense of the word. It is just a neighborhood like any neighborhood in the city. They shouldnt be trying to be big boys any longer.

    My hat is off to the SL group that is trying to breath life into the community with their volunteerism and efforts to build community. The trustees have to help with their action. Any idea this group has should be advanced. The trustees should not be depending on revenue from the police citations but whatever they do get at the end of the year should be put back into the QUALITY of life within the village.

    I remember being able to walk from the beach to the grocery for my treats, pop and ice cream. There isnt a place within walking distance to do that now. Hard enough to find a place to park to access my cooler inside my car or drag my sand chair to the waterside!

    Tell me AndyJ, where do you get your milk? Your eggs? Your ice cream cone?

  9. TO: ANDY J says:

    Are you originally from the area ANDY J? I highly doubt it. Because if you were, you would remember the tranquility the SL had at one point in time. As everyone knows, time changes a lot of areas. But ususally that is in a positive way, stores, businesses, (not just bars).

    What you fail to understand is that people do the “frikin” speed limit in town. However if it is late at night, the SLPD will pull you over without any reasonable cause. I have personally experienced this. They are hoping you are intoxicated.

    I have a nice rental home in Silver Lake where I cannot rent and the People come straight out and tell me it is because they have heard the police department is ridiculous.

    Every year the Fire Department/Rescue have a “Street Dance” which they serve beer and other beverages. The police actually pull people over when leaving this. No one even wants to go to that anymore? WHY? SLPD.

  10. Andy J says:

    *Milk/Eggs: Silver Lake BP, locally owned and operated
    *Major Grocery: Sentry (Twin lakes), Super Valu (Paddock Lake), or Woodmans
    *Ice Cream Cone: Dairy Queen, locally operated unsure of ownership
    *Automobile Repair: Harm’s Service Center, localy owned and operated
    *Pet Supplies: Tropical Oasis (Twin Lakes). I would use the one local in Silver Lake, but they do not sell live rats. They only sell frozen. You seem like a rat in human disguise, care to breed to feed my snake?
    *Pizza Delivery: Taste of Italy, localy owned and operated.
    *Hardware: True Valu (Paddock Lake), locally owned and operated.

    If there were other options local to Silver Lake, I promise you I would frequent them. If there were a small grocery store, I would do 60% of my shopping there. Unfortunately, big box destroys small business. People get led into a false sense of savings at these large stores. So tell me captain objection, how much shopping do you do at Wal Mart, or better yet in Antioch? How much do you do locally, not including Illinois? I practice what I preach. I do something about it.

    All you do is gripe, I remember this, it used to be that .. keep saying that next time you’re on the way to Wal Mart, while you send your money to China. It’s DB’s like you that HELP kill small business. I’d be pefectly fine with you sticking to your anonymous name “Avoiding Silver Lake”. Avoid it, and go back to Illinois.

    Twin lakes has 25mph down the main drag. I don’t see you jumping on their nuts about the cops and speed traps out there. Obey the posted speed limits and you won’t have a problem. Most vehicles have cruise control, as I’ve pointed out. You should use it.

  11. Andy J says:

    I have lived in the village for 5 years, and enjoy the current tranquility. The only thing I wish is that they would finally put the ordinance in place, limiting the train horn. Those engineers get a little overzealous, sort of like the folks who blare out constantly how SLPD is the big bad wolf.

    I frequently travel through town at night and have NEVER gotten pulled over, because I obey the posted speed limits. Wether it’s 1pm or 1am, not a once have I gotten pulled over. Again, *Cruise Control*. Learn what that little button does before you see the police car, and not afterwards.

    I feel bad that you can’t rent your house. Don’t blame SLPD. Blame the people starting rumors that they’re so horrible, and pull everyone over. Obey laws, stay out of trouble. It’s as simple as that.

  12. Avoiding Silver Lake-the original says:

    Twin Lakes and Paddock Lake – equi-distant to Antioch. Same as if shopping in Antioch.
    You dont remember when there was a Full service Grocery? A full Service hardware? You have missed out on the best times of SL. I am however glad to hear that Harm is getting your business and DQ and Italy, and the new bow-wow, but the grocery employed people as did the hardware and they knew us by name, delivered to us with a smile. Don’t get me going on the Doctors and the Emergency Center and THE bank and then the New Bank and now Tom’s bank.

    There is no doubt about it that the SLPD is not the ONLY reason for the ghost town status. But, SL should not be the venue of the next John Rambo redux and we certainly dont need to have our own shadowing Brian Dennehey.


  13. Andy J says:

    No I was not here for the grocery or hardware store. If they were still here, i would spend my money there instead of in Paddock Lake.

    My reference to shopping in Antioch is the fact that you’re taking your money and paying sales tax to an entirely different state – Illinois, for the geographically challenged. Keep your money in your community. Do you think that paying Illinois sales tax is helping the local communities here in Wisconsin?

    I love how you change your stance when challenged.. No answer as to where you do your shopping, but it’s obvious that you’re a “big box” and Illinois frequenter. Slither, is a fitting way to end your response, seeing as you have no spine.

  14. Avoiding Silver Lake-the original says:

    AndyJ, you may have read into my response that I have changed my stance but I have not. I still contend that SLPD as a unit is a negative for the village.
    I avoid SL and I am not alone.

    Have you checked how much money the Village has spent in Illinois from their tax dollars? Do you know what, if anything, the Village has done to encourage new business or to help those who have continued thru the thin to make a living in the village? Do you know what the businesses think of the SLPD? Maybe the volunteer group could do a survey and encourage participation of all the businesses and residents. An election is coming and maybe they could set up a table near to the village hall to encourage participation and information gathering.

    Areyou on the Volunteer committee AndyJ?

  15. Andy J says:

    … And still no response to my question(s).

    I support my town by spending my hard earned dollars in it. How do you support yours?

  16. Andrew Smith says:

    A lot of you have mentioned how local businesses have been driven out of the village over the past several years. We no longer have a grocery store, only a few places to eat, and one doesn’t even have parking and is next to a huge eye-sore with junk in the driveway… But I digress; my concern as a citizen is what is the current board doing to promote business? Certain businesses on Hwy 50 have asked to be annexed into the village! Why hasn’t this process begun? Silver Lake would then have a face on Hwy 50, so maybe some of those people driving by going to Lake Geneva would see there is a closer option for them. The village of Twin Lakes is growing by leaps and bounds. They have a pro-active village attorney that knows the laws and isn’t afraid to annex Randall township to promote growth in their village. Getting back to our town board, the only thing they have done is put into the works the demise of Silver Lake Rescue. We now have a village board that has put together a committee to try and combine Silver Lake Rescue and Fire. What is going on here?! Silver Lake Rescue is a PRIVATE – NOT FOR PROFIT Company with members that care about the community. I was at a recent village meeting where their Rescue Chief explained how they work, and it’s because they are not operated by the village they succeed. It would be STUPID to combine them with Silver Lake Fire, they would just bleed the money out of them and then we wouldn’t have a Rescue Squad in town. In fact they have some stupid ad-hoc committee that has full time fire fighters from Kenosha on it that are looking to try and combine Silver Lake Rescue with Salem Fire and Rescue. So now instead of the 3 minute response time we have now, we would have to wait for an ambulance to come all the way from Trevor! At a village hall meeting this fall it was disclosed that Silver Lake Rescue only charges $27,000 to the village while Silver Lake Fire costs nearly $60,000 for a call volume of about 10 calls!!! Leave the one private business alone that is surviving in Silver Lake, that sings Christmas carols and brings Christmas presents to the assisted living center in town, has blood drives, pancake breakfasts and provides me with an awesome brat at the concerts in the park! Work on annexing more of Salem and work with the volunteers that are trying to clean up the town. We have a lot of great people that live in Silver Lake; I just pray we can turn things around before it’s too late.

  17. Tim Myers says:

    crazy to think you can throw out a number and expect it to happen.Poor planning in a poor Gov.WE WILL NOT TOLERATE TO MUCH LOCAL GOV.WE ARE THE LAW.Been Here 33 Years,nobody is making me leave till i am ready.

  18. A note is in order here on what is allowed for comments. I try to give a free hand to comments. However I will hold comments for being crude, potentially libelous, making criminal allegations and making other assertions or facts that are not publically known, especially when they involve non-public figures or businesses. Sometimes I might just miss a comment in the moderation queue.

    If you are wondering what’s up with a comment you have made, drop me a line via email and I will be glad to address your situation.

  19. Andy J says:

    My wife brought up a great point last night. We would like to see the village/board hold the property owners on Main Street accountable for the look of that area, in a lot of respects. While the buildings may be vacant, they are (mostly) an eyesore. The “mall” and new pet store are the only buildings with an acceptable facade.

    Adding flower pots is not an answer. The buildings themselves need to be freshened up to be more appealing to prospective businesses. Who would want to start up a new bistro or niche shop in that area when it just looks plain ugly? The new venture could just as easily move to Twin Lakes, which put a fresh polish on that PICKLE of a downtown strip.. I’d prefer to see them in our town, but whats the draw?

  20. To Andy J says:

    the property owners of the downtown, main street area should hold the Board and the SLPD accountable. If there were people to cater to who are not afraid to enter SL then their would be business.

    It is a vicious cycle with non-supporters and supporters.

    The supporters can still have their police protection from Kenosha County and save money and the non-supporters do not have a gripe then.

    Business would come back, buildings would be repaired. The gravey train will roll in.

    It is just common sense. That’s all it is.

  21. just the facts says:

    To: Avoiding Silver Lake …..what fact basis do you have to support that getting rid of the police will result in business getting better in Silver Lake? The only businesses that usually do not like police in most regards are taverns…like we need another one! Any of the tavern owners would probably want ZERO police anywhere until they have an out of control fight or theft then they cry “where are the police”. Where are all of these people scared to come into Silver Lake and this “bullying” where are the facts? And I guess in your mind all the Deputies are picture perfect and no one would ever have an issue with any of them??? Yeah Right….You along with a slim number seem to be on your own “bullying” crusade with slander and no facts or common sense to back it up. Let’s face it the issue over getting rid of the police has been brought up in the past and shot down twice if you don’t remember….You are in the minority here and that is a fact!

  22. Robert says:

    to andy j
    u funny guy
    silver lake has no businesses why? “slpd”Learn it. Live it. Love it.”
    people are selling there homes why? “Learn it. Live it. Love it.”
    people are selling there water toys or not using them atleast in silver lake why?
    slpd “Learn it. Live it. Love it.”
    the sooner you understand or accept this fact the better off you will be look at the comments man!
    your the only one defending slpd its clear you know someone on the department just let it go,,,and yes move away people like yourself arent wanted there anyway i can tell just by reading your crap

    p.s. i will drive to antioch for gas way before silverlake
    “Learn it. Live it. Love it.”

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